Are preprints a good idea?

i can’t make up my mind. Here is the case against: On Dangers of Preprints – For Better Science although according to this author the whole of academic publishing is corrupt

the daily sceptic today was quick to report results from some new preprints: More Evidence that Natural Immunity Beats Vaccine-Induced Immunity – The Daily Sceptic including, of course, a systematic review - the authors say they didnt attempt meta-analysis and then 2 paragraphs later report a weighted average estimate (without any statistical detail)


It’s the age-old conundrum: speed vs quality (there is also price, but that doesn’t apply so well here).

There is something to be said for lowering the bar to publishing. Probably true of scientific work, and creative work as well. The sunlight of public domain has its advantages.

However, as you alluded to, once you lower the bar you also get a lot of crap…which is kinda what we are seeing now with covid related stuff.

All that said, I think this will be the new reality. Just as any moron can be a talking head with their own Youtube channel, or podcast, or whatever, so too that any piece of flotsam will find its way onto some preprint server. So it will be as true as it’s always been, that caveat emptor rules the day. But as we’ve seen from some commentators on here and the stuff they link to, there will be more and more chaff to burn through to get to the wheat. In some ways, perhaps after a period of flux, the traditional sources at least of scientific knowledge may actually prove their worth.

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Ironic that the criticism of un-peer-reviewed publications… comes from a blog post by a journalist, something which therefore has not experienced the journalistic equivalent of peer review (i.e. editorial review).